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Brake pad replacement.

28 April 2000
SF Bay Area / Boston MA
I'm considering on joining the MR2 club at their track day on Friday. I read through their guidelines and suggested to bring extra set of brake pads. This would be my first time on a race track. My car is completely stock, and I still havn't checked how much brake pad is remaining. Anyways, I went ahead and stopped at Acura this morning to buy another set of front pads just in case. I asked for pads for '94 NSX, they costed $185 for the set plus tax. Are there other brake pad options that would be better for the same price? I was just curious if there were any dangers or extreme limitations with using OEM brakes on the race-track. Any suggestions would be great!
Kenji, I tried several different brake pads, and I found the best that work for me is Carbotech panthers. However, they do squeel a little bit.

The stock ones work finr for beginner. And u can get them at substantial discount price from Don at hilltop auto service.

Or if u need the panthers, I have a spare pads, that I can sell it to u. Since I'm not gonna need them until next year.

Let me know
$185 is a bargain compare with aftermarket pads. I just bought the DALI for $290 + shipping. I can't remember what I paid for the RM pads.

I just went to my first driving school 2 weeks ago. I did not use the brake much due to traffic, unless you are the first few guys in your run group. You will have to contend with traffic.
There are quality high-performance brake pads available for the NSX, including those available from your dealer (OEM pads) as well as from:

RM Racing - http://www.rmnsx.com/nsx/rotors.html#pads

Dali Racing - http://www.daliracing.com/nsxcatalog/stop_faster/pads.cfm

Comptech - http://www.comptechusa.com/vehicles/vehicles.html

and other vendors. However, none of these are inexpensive. For more information, see http://www.nsxprime.com/FAQ/Performance/brakes.htm

Do NOT get cheap brake pads!!! If you go to the local auto parts store, they can probably sell you cheap pads for your NSX, because they're the same size and shape as some models of Legend. But they will not hold up to racetrack usage or to other high-performance needs. Neither will "Metal Master" brake pads (such as those sold by Comptech and other places), which are similarly mediocre. You REALLY don't want to compromise the performance of your expensive high-performance sports car by getting low-performance brake pads.

As a beginner on the track, you will probably not use up all that much brake pad. But with more experience, you may find that you use up pads by going to the track. This is simply part of the cost of going to the track.

One final note - some places quote a price for front only pads, while others sell them in one set including front and rear. Make sure you're taking this into account when comparing prices.
P.S. In my experience, Carbotech Panthers dust horribly and IMO they aren't anywhere near as good as the RM Racing street/track pads. Another brand is Porterfield; I've found that their street/track R4S pads are good, but not as good as the RM pads; their track R4 pads are too noisy to use on the street.
Be very careful with the word "set" here.

You need a pair of pads at each rotor (one inside, one outside). Some places may call one pair a "set." You would need four of these "sets" to do the entire car.

Most places use the word "set" to mean two pair (one left, one right). You need two of these "sets" to do an entire car - one front set, one rear set.

Some others may even say "set" meaning a full set of four pair for the entire car.

The OEM pads do not compare favorably price-wise to many very good aftermarket pads.
It was $185 for just the fronts. Maybe I will call Don today and see how much he could sell them to me. I will return the current ones if it is considerably cheaper.

Andrie, how well do the Panthers hold up in regular street driving? Can they be used for that? $218 for both front and back seem way cheaper than stock ones.

I think nsxtsy is right that I probably won't use too much brake because I'm still a beginner. I just wanted to get a feel for it, and I'll probably worry more about this after I get better. I just wanted to be safe and have a set of backups incase my stock ones are really low right now.

Lud - do you suggest I return the OEM pads and look for similarly priced after-market pads?
One more note - RM Racing's website makes it sound like you can only buy their brake pads in a package that includes front and rear pads. You can, in fact, buy front pads only (or rear pads only) over the phone, even though you can't do it on their website.

This is different from their rotors, which they will ONLY sell as a package that includes front and rear rotors.

Also don't forget that some of these vendors, including RM Racing and Comptech, give a 10 percent discount to members of the NSX Club of America...
Don't kid yourself. The event is at Laguna Seca and you WILL use your brakes. Even in traffic your brakes will get a considerable workout. I have driven on L.S. and at Buttonwillow with OEM pads and those pads will do just fine (it's the rotors that will cause the most concern due to shudder) as long as there is plenty of pad left for the event. I am currently using RM street/track pads and I like them alot. However, they do dust up quite a bit more than stock in street use.
I hope you make it to Laguna Seca this weekend! I'll see you there.
The Carbotech panthers do dust and squeel a little bit. But they do not dust horribly, less than Dali and about the same than Porterfield. From my experience they work the best. The best part is they work for street use and track use great.

I tried Dali pads on the west side on thunderhill. Wear them out in 2 session!!!!

Porterfield R4S last me a day (about 4 session. But upon taking them off, the rear disintegrate.

and I tried different other pads with similar results.

With carbotech panthers, it lasted me 2 days, and it brakes great.

Never tried RM, so I can't speak for them.

nsxtasy mentioned when he tried carbotech a while back it leaves deposit that unwashable. I talked to carbotech about it but they assured me they change to new compound. Last time I had it out on the track and got it dust a lot. Left the car for 2 weeks without a wash, as I have some business I had to attend to. It washed off with no problem.

Kenji, if u're stock ones are less than 50%. I would sugest u to get a fresh ones and use the old ones as back up. I heard u get tons of track time with MR2 club. It is a good idea to have fresh pads, and as important fresh fluid. Preferably good fluid. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of brake fluids.

[This message has been edited by Andrie Hartanto (edited 10 December 2000).]
It is a good idea to have fresh pads, and as important fresh fluid. Preferably good fluid. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of brake fluids.

Good point. Just to elaborate - you don't have to flush the brake fluid before every track event, but you should have done so within the previous six months or so. (If you look it up in the maintenance schedule in your owner's manual, it will say once every two years - which is okay for street use, but not okay for the track.)

There's info about different kinds of brake fluids in http://www.nsxprime.com/FAQ/Performance/brakes.htm